Readings for Tuesday March 8, 2011
First Reading: Tobit 2:9-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 112
Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech. They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied to him, “Caesar’s.” So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him. (Mk 12:13-17)
Today's gospel really asks us to reflect on what our priorities in life are. Are we being good stewards of everything that we have? The Pharisees and Herodians were simply trying to trap Jesus in saying something they could use against Him, but little did they know that He was going to hit them with some knowledge that they could not argue against. The reality is that Jesus put things in perspective for them and for us. We are certainly called to respect the authority figures that are over us, whether we fully agree with them or not; but that can never trump or take the focus off of what we are to give to God ... which is everything. God, the creator of the universe and us; ask us to hold nothing back from Him. He does not hold back any love or mercy from us, and we certainly should not hold any back from Him. If we say that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength; then we should be willing to go out and prove it. We must always seek to give God what belongs to God.
I heard a speaker once say; "The main 'thang', is to keep the main 'thang' the main 'thang'." The "main thang" is God, and He must always be at the center of our lives. Let us each pray for the courage and resolve to serve God with everything we have, and to not hold back one single thing.
Father above we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you for all that you bless us with in this life. We praise you for all that we are and for all that we have; may we always be good stewards of the many blessings that you give to us. Lord you are the way, the truth and the life; may we always stay on the path that you have laid before us. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.